Citizenship in Society - Key Information
This November 1, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) launched the Citizenship in Society merit badge, its newest merit badge for youth in the Scouts BSA program (ages 11-17).
BSA merit badges give Scouts opportunities to learn more about the world we live in and are earned through completing a series of guided activities and tasks. The new Citizenship in Society merit badge encourages Scouts to explore information on diversity, equity, inclusion, and ethical leadership, and learn why these qualities are important in society and in Scouting.
Scouts will conduct research, explore resources on their own, have conversations with merit badge counselors, peers, parents, and community members and identify actions they can take to ensure inclusivity and to act as upstanders.
The Citizenship in Society merit badge aligns with the Scout Oath and Scout Law, which collectively encourages Scouts to respect the beliefs of others, to be kind, courteous, and to help other people at all times.
The Citizenship in Society merit badge builds upon existing merit badges, including the American Cultures, Citizenship in the Community, Disability Awareness, and American Heritage merit badges, which require Scouts to learn and grow their understanding of diverse perspectives and spur positive action.
The merit badge was developed carefully and thoughtfully by BSA's Office of Diversity and Youth Development Office, with input from a dedicated group of Scouting volunteers, BSA youth, and professional staff, and pairs Scouts with a merit badge counselor who will help facilitate discussion with the Scout as they seek to further understand the diverse world we live in.
Starting July 1, 2022, the merit badge will be required for any youth seeking to achieve the prestigious Eagle Scout rank.
This new merit badge is designed to help Scouts learn about the diverse, unique identities and characteristics we each possess, understand different perspectives and experiences, and learn how to encourage an inclusive and welcoming culture in Scouting and in society.
The new Citizenship in Society merit badge is an important initiative within the Boy Scouts of America's larger commitment to develop a culture where every youth, volunteer, and employee feels a sense of belonging and to build communities where every person feels respected and valued.
For more information on the Citizenship in Society merit badge and BSA's commitment to diversity and inclusion, you can visit www.scouting.org/dei